Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 11

Fruits Basket: Episode 10 – “This Is a Wonderful Inn”

The episode begins with Tohru and her classmates finishing off their finals. Momiji sees Tohru at work and goes to Shigure’s house with her afterward to reveal the gift he’s giving for Tohru for “White Day” to thank her for the chocolates on Valentine’s Day: a day at a hot spring owned by the Somas. In the end, Yuki and Kyo accompany Momiji and Tohru. The woman who oversees the hot spring is supposedly in frail health, but she sure has a lot of energy and is overly apologetic even if nothing has really gone wrong. It’s an amusingly humorous bit. But we later learn through a conversation she has with Tohru that her child is also one of the Zodiac animals, specifically the monkey. We’re kind of given the name of this character, but the mother only gives a shortened version of it that has an honorific attached to it. I already know about this character due to seeing the original anime and from reading the manga, but I refuse to provide spoilers for anyone reading this who may not already have familiarity with the either the manga or the first anime.

We get some great interactions between both Tohru and Kyo and Tohru and Yuki in this episode. There’s also a very humorous bit right near the end of the episode where Tohru learns how old Momiji really is, and everyone learns a startling fact about Momiji and Hatsuharu.

Overall, this episode had a great mix of dramatic moments and comedy. With what’s revealed in this episode, it’s clear that we’re going to be headed into a new school year rather quickly, and that Tohru will likely be meeting another member of the Soma family in the not-too-distant future. I’m looking forward to seeing how this reboot will continue on, and how it will differ from the first anime.

Case Closed: Episode 943 – “Tokyo Barls Collection”

The episode opens with Kogoro receiving an invitation to a monja restaurant from a fan. She has included her picture, which shows that she looks like a young woman. Conan insists on going along, and when thy get there, they find an old woman doing a strange dance. When she realized it’s Kogoro in front of her, she rushes into the restaurant. When Kogoro and Conan walk in, they see the woman from the picture… but, her face starts cracking because this is actually a mask. And guess who’s behind the mask? You guessed it, the strange old lady.

While they eat monja, she starts choking on a cabbage core, and claims that one of her childhood friends must have put the core in the monja. She hires Kogoro to investigate her three friends. They all end up giving similar stories about why they despise the strange old woman, and this, of course, causes Conan to suspect that there’s something more going on here.

I won’t spoil the rest of the episode, so I’ll just say that this was one of the worst episodes of Case Closed that I’ve ever seen. The whole setup was just ridiculously stupid, and the case was just as stupid. This was such an obvious filler episode, and I would have to say that it’s worse than most of the filler episodes featuring the Detective Boys. For me to say that shows just how much I disliked this particular episode.

I’m pretty sure the next episode, which is a multi-part episode, is also filler. However, it looks a lot more promising than this one!

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 8 – “That Day”

While this episode primarily focuses on backstory for Eren’s father, Grisha, it’s still compelling. Not only does the audience learn more about Grisha, they also learn the truth behind the world of the series and get a little more information on the Titans. It’s fascinating to see what humankind outside of the walls was truly like during Grisha’s youth. During that time, there was much more of a feel of what our world was like back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, rather than the more medieval feel we see with the modern day characters who live in the walls.

In the flashbacks, though, you can see a parallel between Marley’s treatment of the Eldians and the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis. Instead of concentration camps, we see internment zones and brutal things happening to the Eldians (a child being fed to dogs, and later rebels being turned into Titans and eating other Eldians). Overall, a downer of an episode, but it needed to be that way in order to convey some very important information and concepts for going forward in the series.

We do get a brief scene of Eren, Mikasa, and Eren. Eren and Mikasa are in the stockade to serve their punishment for insubordination, and Eren has a nightmare. It turns out that the backstory we’re seeing is a dream that Eren is having, because he has somehow made a connection with his father’s memories. Although I have to say that it was kind of amusing to see Mikasa with bedhead.

I don’t really want to comment any further at this point, because I’m afraid I may inadvertently provide spoilers from what I know from reading further ahead in the manga. But, what I will say is that things will continue to get a little more… interesting.

Otakon to Host Three Voice Actors from the Fruits Basket Anime

Otakon has announced that the event will host Fruits Basket voice actors Makoto Furukawa (Hatsuharu Soma), Manaka Iwami (Tohru Honda), and Nobunaga Shimazaki (Yuki Soma).

Furukaw’s other credits include One-Punch Man (Saitama), That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Benimaru), Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life (Michitaka Sakai), Aldnoah.Zero (Shigou Kakei), Banana Fish (Shorter Wong), Fate/Apocrypha (Rider of Red), and Kaguya-sama: Love is War (Miyuki Shirogane).

Iwami;s other credits include Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms (Maquia), Gamers! (Chiaki Hoshinomori), Children of the Whales (Lycos), revisions (Marin Temari), WorldEnd (Lakhesh), Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- (Chibi), and Tada Never Falls in Love (Teresa Wagner).

Shimazaki’s also credits include your name. (Tsukasa Fujii), Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club (Haruka Nanase), Black Clover (Yuno), Date A Live (Shido Itsuka), STARMYU (Riku Ageha), My Love Story!! (Makoto Sunakawa), and World Trigger (Hyuse).

Otakon will be taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from July 26-28, 2019.

Source: ANN

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 10

Fruits Basket: Episode 10 – “It’s Valentine’s, After All”

As you can tell from the title, Valentine’s Day plays an important role in this episode. It starts out the day before, actually, but the girls are giving chocolate at school on this date because Valentine’s Day itself is on Saturday, when they’re not in school. There’s a part with Yuki, where they only see one gift of chocolate. This is unusual, until Hana points out that girls are throwing other girls’ chocolates out so theirs gets all the attention. That poor chocolate, sitting in the nearby garbage can uneaten. Kyo gets one as well, which reminds him that it’s Valentine’s Day. He wants to escape from school, but the homeroom teacher stops him. Yikes, that homeroom teacher gives off the impression of being a bit of a punk herself, and isn’t going to put up with Kyo trying to leave class. We see why he was so worried after school, because Kagura shows up at their school. In the end, this leads to Kagura, Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru going on a “double date” to a movie. And yes, we actually get to see some of the movie they’re watching, and a different animation style was used for it. To me, the look of the film, as well as the types of characters that appear, were giving off a bit of a Digimon vibe to me. LOL!

While there’s a lot of humor in this episode, Shigure also has some serious scenes in this episode. This is especially evident in his discussion with Hatori when Shigure visits the main house. It’s revealed that Shigure has a hidden agenda and motives when it comes to Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. But Shigure actually admits to some regret, especially when it comes to how he’s using Torhu.

This episode is definitely laying the groundwork for the story’s progression, and yet another layer has now been added. I’m looking forward to seeing this reboot as it continues to adapt the original manga source material.

Case Closed: Episode 942 – “Find Maria-chan! (Part Two)”

The mystery of finding Maria doesn’t take up the entire episode. And in the end, it takes making a phone call to Conan for the other Detective Boys to find Maria. Luckily, it turns out there was nothing suspicious or sinister about the whole “treasure hunt.” At least Maria was safe.

The more interesting portions of the episode have to do with Conan/Shinichi and how that whole thing ends up being resolved. Between Hattori and Shinichi’s parents, the whole commotion about the Shinichi Kudo sighting dissipates… but not before gaining the attention of the leader of the Black Organization. Amuro (aka Bourbon) even gets a message from Rum asking for information about Shinichi. Shinichi’s parents return to Japan and talk with Conan and Professor Agasa. It turns out that the code that Conan discovered for the identity of the leader of the organization wasn’t entirely deciphered accurately. It turns out the whole code should be one word, and it spells out the name of a multi-millionaire that doesn’t actually exist. The beginning narration teased that the identity of the leader of the Black Organization would be revealed. Well, it was, and it wasn’t. The name of the multi-millionaire is obviously an alias for someone else, so this does nothing to narrow down the three people who are being portrayed as potential candidates for the leader.

It was wonderful to finally have some progression for the overarching story, but from the preview for the next episode, it appears we’re heading right back into filler again. Sigh. This is probably the one thing that has gotten a little frustrating about the Case Closed anime. We get anywhere from 2-4 episodes that actually progress the story, and then there’s a few months of filler episodes before we get another 2-4 episodes that progress the overarching story. I know that the manga author, Gosho Aoyama, has been taking hiatuses for various reasons over the past couple of years, so I suspect this pattern for the anime is due to this.

At this point, my big question about this anime franchise is: Will it make it 1,000 episodes? At the rate it’s going, it’s very possible.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 7 – “The Basement”

The title of the episode is “The Basement,” but the story doesn’t officially see our characters getting to their destination until right near the end. A lot of the early part of the episode focuses on Armin catching up on what’s happened, since his last memory is of Bertholdt wreaking havoc. When Armin learns that they had a choice for who to choose to bring back with the “Titan juice,” it’s understandable that Armin is in shock and disbelief that he was chosen over Erwin. During this scene, though, Levi showed a little more of a caring side than he is normally willing to show. Levi is kind of forced to, I think, since Erwin is now gone.

Eren, Mikasa, Levi, and Hange make the trek to Eren’s basement. As they travel, we see flashbacks of young Eren and Mikasa going through important areas that the four of them are going through, as well as how Eren and Mikasa react. I thought this was an effective way of building the anticipation of reaching the basement. But when they get there, they are surprised to discover that the key Eren has had all this time doesn’t actually work on the lock for the basement. But this doesn’t deter Levi, though… he just kicks the door down. As they explore the room, Mikasa finds a desk drawer with a keyhole… and the key Eren has fits this lock. Once they get this drawer open and discover what’s inside, they make a discovery that confirms what Erwin has believed all this time. This newfound knowledge is going to become an important game changer for the series.

Right at the end, a story from Grisha’s (Eren’s father) youth is just getting started. The preview for the next episode makes it clear that it will be continuing to share a story that Grisha left in one of the books found in the desk drawer. It’s going to be an exposition episode, but it’s important information that needs to be conveyed to the audience in order for the story to progress from this point forward.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 9

Fruits Basket: Episode 9 – “Yuki Was My First Love”

This episode officially introduces the audience to a character who appeared briefly in the previous episode. Hatsuharu, who is a year younger than Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru. While our main characters are involved in an endurance race at school, they encounter Hatsuharu in a grassy area nearby. He got lost. LOL! Yes, he’s a directionally challenged character. But through Hatsuharu, we learn not only some backstory for him, but a little more for Yuki as well.

Yuki wasn’t feeling well the night before, but he insists on going and participating in the endurance race. Hatsuharu and Kyo fight, but after Yuki collapses from his illness, Hatsuharu uses Tohru to transform into his animal form in order to take Yuki back to Shigure’s house. It’s amusing to see Hatsuharu’s animal form walking through town, carrying Yuki on his back.

Oh, but there’s great moments with Hana and her card game during the endurance race. LOL!

There’s a great mixture of humor and drama in this episode, and Hatsuharu’s proper introduction works perfectly. Another Soma down, still some more to go before we meet all of them.

And it should be noted that during the ending credits, there’s a brief shot of Hatsuharu in his animal form, with the animal form of another character that hasn’t been introduced yet sitting on top of him. I guess these additional shots are only being used during the episode where a particular Soma is introduced, since the one with Hattori’s animal hasn’t been seen again. I expect that this shot with Hatsuharu will come back again when this other character is introduced.

Case Closed: Episode 941 – “Find Maria-chan! (Part One)”

This episode is set right after the end of the school trip special, so basically all the episodes in between were filler. While I had suspected that most were filler, I had assumed that there was at least one canon story in there. Oh well, I guess I was wrong on that.

Thanks to television footage of Hattori and Shinichi being seen together, and some social media posts, it’s revealed that Shinichi Kudo is still alive. Because a rumor of his death had spread, his showing up is big news. The news catches the eye of the characters who have been identified as potential possibilities for Rum, the leader of the Black Organization. One of the potential possibilities is Conan and friends’ new clumsy assistant teacher, and she asks Ai if she knows anything about Shinichi (since Ai lives with the professor, who lives next door to the Kudo family). When Ai asks her why she’s asking her about Shinichi, the teacher brushes it off as simply being curious since Shinichi is being talked about so much online.

Of course, this causes problems for Conan, especially since he had pretended to be sick with a cold and slipped out to visit the professor while the others are in school. Reporters are flocking to the Kudo house, so Conan has to lay low. Conan is also horrified to discover that someone runs a fan site for his family. Oh, that’s not creepy. That’s not creepy at all.

But now that the public knows that Shinichi is still alive, a new layer is being added to the main story arc for Case Closed. This is going to make things more difficult for Shinichi/Conan than they already are. As we get more canon storylines from the manga being adapted for the anime, things could get even more interesting.

Meanwhile, Conan’s main teacher approaches Ai and the others, asking if they know why a student named Maria wasn’t at school. They say they haven’t heard anything, and the teacher asks them to visit Maria’s house to check up on her, since the teacher hadn’t been able to reach either of her parents at work. When the kids get to the house, Ayumi remembers that Maria mentioned that she found a note from her dead grandmother about a treasure hunt being set up in her house. Maria had invited Ayumi and the others. The grandmother’s house is across the street, and the door is unlocked. The kids let themselves in, and find Maria’s belongings at the entrance, along with the first hint for the treasure hunt. The kids figure Maria must have gone ahead and started doing the treasure hunt instead of going to school, so they start following the instructions. Ai is the main one figuring things out, but by the end of the episode, they still haven’t found Maria.

Maybe it’s just me, but the note from the dead grandmother just sounded kind of weird from the outset. I don’t know if maybe Maria is somehow simply trapped in her grandmother’s house, or if something more sinister is going on.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 6 – “Midnight Sun”

When the episode begins with the title appearing on the screen as it opens instead of using the opening credits, you know things are going to be serious.

Hange and the others are trying to interrogate Reiner, but he’s not being very cooperative. When Hange threatens to kill Reiner, Jean pleads for Hange to stop because if they need to revive anyone with the “Titan juice,” the person who gets the injection could eat Reiner. Hange relents, and sends Mikasa to check on Eren and Armin and find out what their situation is.

Meanwhile, as Eren grieves for Armin, the man who is the Beast Titan appears before him. He says they’re both victims of Eren’s father and he vows that he will rescue Eren. He also comments that there’s no saving Bertholdt and leaves. Not too long after, he and the Titan he’s riding on appear and take Reiner away. Jean blames himself for this failure, but Hange takes responsibility for making the decision.

Mikasa arrives to Eren and Armin’s location, and is stunned to see the condition Armin is in. Levi arrives as well, and not too long after, Armin lets out a gasp of breath… which means that Armin is still alive. Eren asks Levi to use the “Titan juice,” and he’s about to hand it over when the cadet who survived the Beast Titan’s attack arrived with a badly injured but still clinging to life Erwin. At this point, Levi has to decide who to use the “Titan juice” on. Both sides plead their cases, and Levi has a very tough decision to make. But after it appears he’s made his final decision, something happens that causes Levi to change his mind.

This was a tough episode emotionally, because the viewer is put through such a rollercoaster ride, especially when both sides are pleading their cases as to which one should be saved by being turned into a Titan. Also, the amount of violence and gore shown in the episode is also a little higher than normal. But this is the reality of the situation that they’re in… it’s simply going to be violent and bloody.

The next episode’s preview shows the group approaching Eren’s basement, and the episode is even title, “The Basement.” After getting through 55 episodes of the franchise, the audience will finally learn what’s in Eren’s basement. I don’t think I’ll be providing any spoilers by making one final comment, since I know what’s coming from reading the manga: What they find in the basement will be a major game changer.

Two Episodes of the Fruits Basket Anime to Be Delayed Due to French Open Broadcast

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that episodes 9 and 10 of the new anime of Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket manga are delayed internationally due to the airing of the French Open tennis tournament on television in Japan. This year’s French Open is being held from May 20 to June 9, 2019. FUNimation said that it will announce the updated broadcast and simulcast times when they are confirmed.

The anime’s official website has announced that there is a “possibility for a broadcast date and time change” for episode 9 on TV Tokyo, TV Osaka, and TV Aichi. Episode 9 will air as scheduled on AT-X on June 1, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.

UPDATED TO ADD: Crunchyroll is announcing that due to the French Open broadcasts, Episode 9 will be delayed by at least nine hours on May 31, 2019.

Source: ANN
Source: Crunchyroll

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 8

This week, there are only write-ups for Fruits Basket and Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2. Once again, there was no new Case Closed episode available for streaming.

Fruits Basket: Episode 8 – “See You When You Get Back”

The focus of this episode is on New Year’s, and the plans the characters have for the holiday. Uo and Hana offer to let Tohru stay with them for the holiday, because Tohru’s grandfather and the rest of the family are going to Hawaii. Tohru declines and says she’ll be OK. She gets permission from Shigure to stay at his house, but is told that the three Somas will be going to the main house for a few days to celebrate the holiday. At first, Yuki and Kyo don’t want to go, because they’re trying to stay away from the main house. But Tohru convinces them to spend time with their families. But in the end, feelings of guilt and a little push from Hana convince Yuki and Kyo to return to the house to spend the holiday with Tohru.

This episode really delves into how Yuki and Kyo have really come to like Torhu, but realize that there’s still things about her that they don’t know, even though she’s lived with them for four months at this point. It also really highlights just how much Tohru can still hide some of her true feelings from them. As we see as Yuki and Kyo rush back into the house, Tohru is sitting with a picture of her mother and has tears welling up in her eyes. She really would have been lonely for this first New Year’s without her mother, but she didn’t want the Somas to miss out on time with their family.

I liked the overall feel and aesthetic and feel of the episode. As I watched it, I thought it really felt like it was taking place at the end of December. While the original anime tried to capture this aesthetic with its animation, I think this reboot captured that sense a lot better. And the scene with the first sunrise of the year was a major highlight.

This episode also sees the first brief appearance of another member of the Soma family, and I suspect that we’ll be seeing his proper introduction in an episode in the not-too-distant future.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 5 – “Hero”

This week was another intense episode, with focus on the two fronts of the battle. Erwin’s suicide force is focused on first, and just about everyone in it is wiped out by the Beast Titan. There’s a scene where one soldier gets up and realizes that he’s the only one still alive, and it’s heartbreaking to see how dazed and confused he is. His wondering out loud why he’s the only one adds to the emotional impact. But the suicide force’s goal is accomplished, because Levi is able to get in some impressive hits on the Beast Titan. Levi gets the man inside the Beast Titan out, but another Titan snatches him away before Levi can take him into custody. We see Levi stunned at what happens, and I think this is probably the most emotion we’ve seen out of him at this point in the series.

On the other battlefront, Armin realizes something about the Colossal Titan, and comes up with a plan to defeat Bertholdt. While the others distract Reiner, Armin and Eren will take on and defeat Bertholdt by themselves. While Armin accomplishes his goal, it’s at a great cost.

This week’s episode has its double-edged swords: while various goals are reached, there’s a negative to off-set the positive. For Levi, it was the man inside the Beast Titan being taken away from him. For Armin and Eren, well… I can’t really go into that without providing spoilers. All I will say that something very negative happens here in order to achieve the positive of defeating Bertholdt.

I know what’s coming next from reading the manga, and I believe we’re soon going to hit the scene that was the after credits teaser at the end of the first half of Attack on Titan Season 3. The only thing I will add is that: things are just going to keep getting more interesting from here.

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 7

Case Closed is not included in this week’s write-up, because there wasn’t a new episode available to watch on Crunchyroll this week.

Fruits Basket: Episode 7 – “Spring Comes”

Tohru is summoned to the main Soma estate by Hatori, but she is told not to say anything to Shigure, Yuki, or Kyo. After Yuki’s warning about Hatori in the previous episode, there was this sense of foreboding about Tohru meeting with him. Momiji is there as well, and when Hatori takes care of something, Momiji tells Tohru some of Hatori’s backstory. We get the rest filled in later through a flashback sequence that Hatori has. Hatori is one of the Somas afflicted with the zodiac curse, and his zodiac transformation is quite amusing. It’s especially amusing how Tohru reacts to it.

This was a story I always liked in both the manga and the original Fruits Basket anime, and I think this reboot did a fantastic job with it. I really appreciate the character growth that Hatori goes through over the course of it, and it becomes clear that he’s not the mean and distant character that Yuki tried to make him seem to be. Then again, I don’t know how much of the backstory Yuki knows… all he knows is that Hatori wiped the memories of some kids that Yuki played with when he was younger because they accidentally learned his secret. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that the interactions between Shigure and Hatori are also great.

In the ending credits, where we get to see some of Somas in their animal form, a shot has been added to include Hatori’s zodiac transformation. I thought this was a nice touch.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 4 – “Perfect Game”

This episode sees a focus on both battle fronts. On one front, the Colossal Titan is setting fire to buildings and throwing them about at Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Conny, and Sasha. On the other front, the Beast Titan is crushing boulders and throwing the pieces toward Erwin, Levi, and the new recruits. Armin just can’t come up with any ideas on how to continue and tries to turn command over to Jean. While Jean can read the situation and get the group to more of a safe spot, he also doesn’t have any ideas on how to proceed. In the end, this group tries to do the best it can, but it ultimately ends with Eren (in Titan form) flung up to the top of the wall.

With Erwin, Levi, and the recruits, they come to realize that they’re trapped between a rock and a hard place. They can’t retreat to the other side of the wall because of all the chaos the Colossal Titan is creating, and they can’t move forward because of the Beast Titan. One of the recruits snaps and gives voice to the fear that the other recruits are likely feeling but are unable to express. After consulting with Levi and sharing his true feelings on what’s going to happen, Erwin and Levi launch a plan that will likely lead to the deaths of Erwin and the recruits.

The feeling of despair that runs throughout this episode is rather intense. And the scene Erwin has with Levi is heartbreaking, because we see a man who realizes he will likely die without realizing his dream of discovering whether or not he and his father were right. But, Erwin is able to channel this feeling when he makes his speech to rally the recruits into action. Erwin’s speech is very convincing, and his voice actor perfectly channels the intensity and power of the words of the speech. It’s believable that this would rally the recruits to perform a suicide mission.

The episode ends on a major cliffhanger, and for those viewers who don’t know the story from the manga, will be waiting anxiously for a week in order to find out what happens next.